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Top Customer Reviews
I also find that across the board the acting is slightly better in the earlier version. In this color version it is strange to see Jason Robards, Jr., who made his reputation performing the works of Eugene O'Neill on the stage, flounder so badly with Shakespeare, and I have to admit his performance gets in the way of my enjoyment of this film. Of the other actors it is interesting to see John Gielgud take on the title role since he played the lean and hungry Cassius in the earlier version, a joy to see Diana Rigg nail her significant scene as Portia, and a bit disconcerting to see so many actors who would become television stars in the years to come (e.g., Richard Chamberlain, Robert Vaugh and Carroll O'Connor).
I also prefer Joseph L. Mankiewicz's direction of the 1953 film to the work of Stuart Burge in this version. Mankiewicz also had the advantage of Academy Award-winning art direction and set decoration, which I really think overcomes the fact the later version is in color. If you are screening the entire film for students or focusing just on Antony's funeral oration, by either standard I really believe you are better served with the earlier film.
The central character is Brutus, the "noblest Roman of them all", who must balance his his duty toward Rome against his loyalty to Caesar. Brutus is a follower of the Stoic philosophy and so tries to achieve virtue by using his reason to choose and follow noble goals, rather than being lead by his emotions. It seems that the director of this movie seeks to convey this idea by having Jason Robards, a highly skilled actor, deliver all Brutus's lines in a bored flat undertone. I wonder how they persuaded him to do it?
"Don't act Jason. Trust us. Just read the lines off slowly
like you never saw them before and you don't care a pin.
It'll be great.!"
To say this completely spoils the movie is an understatement. Mr. Spock has a wider emotional range. They would have done better and saved money by having Brutus played by a flashing blue light and the guy who did the voice of the HAL 9000.
When Brutus is off screen the movie is fine. Heston is surprisingly good. Gielgud is great. It is sort of a pity that the movie is in color because it makes it harder to ignore the poor costumes, the cheap sets, the worst fake beard in the history of cinema. If you want to see a much better film version, there is the classic black and white version in whcih James Mason and Sir John Gielgud make a superb pair as Brutus and Casius, and Marlon Brando gives a chilling Antony.
As for this one, if someone gives it to you as a present, by all means look at it first before you donate it to the public library.
If somehow you missed the play or the history, basically Julius Caesar let his status go to his head and is about to take on the role of emperor. It is up to a handful of Noble Romans to see that this does not happen. The play is about these individuals, their individual purposes and what happens to them after the attempt to stop him. The focus is on Caesar's right arm (Mark Antony).
This is a 1970 rendition of Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar" that is well adapted for the screen. Hence the characters are well known contemporaries. You will notice the major players and might miss some of the others such as Preston Lockwood (Trebonius) who played the Judge in "Strong Poison" ASIN: B000062XDY. With many movies the actor out shine the character and totally changes the emphasis of the story. However this version is well done with maybe the exception of Jason Robards (Brutus) who sometimes seems like Jason Robards playing Brutus at other times he is quite exceptional. Diana Rigg (Portia) who looks like a little girl is the only person that sounds like she is speaking in meter. Everyone speaks clearly and pauses long enough for you to think before moving on. Facial expressions are important to the story and they do not look like they are yelling at you (except in speeches).
You will notice that the back ground music is also of 70's vantage and is used to emphasize certain scenes. However the volume is not so high that you can not hear the clear pronunciation of the lines. Also the costumes made with satin are distracting. At one point Antony looks like Carol Burnett when she was wearing a curtain and left the rod in.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked up this version of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" because I have Charlton Heston in "Antony & Cleopatra" & I also have & love Bernard Shaw's "Caesar &... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Leo Hott
Well-staged and colorful rendition of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar," made in the early 1970's. Read morePublished 6 months ago by George
Great for high school classroom, just watch out for parade in the beginning.Published 7 months ago by Kindle Customer
The movie is fantastic; fortunately, I have a vcr tape because the dvd I purchased wouldn't play.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
I highly recommend this movie for its accurate movie adaptation of William Shakespeare's play of Julius Caesar and for the outstanding acting of Charlton Heston. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Honest Citizen
In 1970, this Stuart Burge-directed, Robert Furnival-scripted new widescreen color version of the play was released with Charlton Heston reprising the Antony part (he had acted in... Read morePublished 14 months ago by thebillshakespeareproject